This August 28, 1952, Lowell Tribune article appeared on page 6, column 6 in time for the Lowell centennial celebraion:
McCartys Early Pioneers
The Honrable Judge Benjamin McCarty, Jr., whose father was also a judge, was born in 1796, in Frankin county, Indiana. He and his wife Deida came by oxen team from his father's home to LaPorte county. Both Deida and Ben were well educated and community leaders. In 1832 the Judge served as first sheriff of LaPorte county and later as probate judge.
When the government opened the sale of land in Porter Co. in '34 he acquired a land grant on section 22 on Joliet Road (now Lincoln highway). That year he laid out the town of Portersville (now Valparaiso) and served as its postmaster from 1836 to 1839. He organized the town's government. The Judge, in 1836, served as state representative from Porter and Lake counties.
The Judge and his family, two daughters, Hannah and Candace, and six sons, Enock Smiley, William Pleasant, Miles Franklin, Fayette Asbury, Morgan and Jonathan, came to Lake County in 1839. The older children were young men and women, more cultivated and better educated than most. They were polished and dignified, the result of excellent home training by their parents, who never spared any expense of effort which contributed to the better way of life for their children.
The older boys brought the finest of saddle horses to Lake County, each outfitted with expensive saddles. The family had the best of clothing, manners, and culture. The McCarty family was truly an asset to Lake County.
The Judge purchased a store and tavern of Dr. Calvin Lilley, located on the east shore of Cedar Lake. He built a comfortable home and laid out town which he named West Point. The family successfully ran this inn for several years. Deida had plenty of help from her children to make the inn a very popular place.
The McCarty family took part in all of the pioneer's social life. Especially, they enjoyed horseback riding, racing, boating, fishing, skating, bobsled riding and of course, church. The Cedar Lake Baptist church services were held in the McCarty home.
The Judge fought to have West Point as the county seat, but lost to Solon Robinson of Crown Court (called Crown Point after he won the county seat location over West Point).
Provoked over his loss the Judge, a quick tempered Irishman, abandoned West Point. He sold it and bought a farm one half mile south of Tinkerville (Creston) and built a flour mill, McCarty's mill, on Cedar Creek (where Lake Dalecarlia is now located).
Deida continued to make their home life a pleasant one, her quiet even temper helping to balance the Judge's fiery quick temper.
Parts of Rev. T.H. Ball's Lake County, Indiana, 1884: An Account of the Semi-Centennial Celebration of Lake County, September 3 and 4, with Historical Papers and Other Interesting Records Prepared for this Volume show the Benjamin McCarty family's movement from Porter to Lake County Indiana:
That the Ross family actually spent here the winter of 1833 I assert upon the unquestionable authority of a most credible and yet living witness, JAMES HILL, who visited that family in their cabin in February, 1834. On the way he stopped at Benjamin McCarty's in Porter county. He met a gang of Indians between McCarty's and the Ross place. The winter was cold. He found, in exploring the region, a few wigwams of Indians near the mouth of Deep river and on the Calumet, and going into one wigwam to warm himself he noticed particularly that one squaw had a playful young child about a year old. These Indians could talk but little English. Their wigwams were made of matting placed around poles planted in the ground, and the door way, in this winter time, was protected by a blanket.
But the time soon came, West Point not having been selected for the county seat, when the fishing and milling interests proved insufficient as occupation for the dwellers beside the lake; and they commenced removing southward to the fertile and inviting then open prairie. The first to remove was probably the McCarty family, settling and building where is now the home of James Hill.
. . . a mill was soon built, on Cedar Creek of the Outlet, known as the Taylor, and McCarty, and then the Carstens mill; but the settlement proper dates about 1842. It soon became the home of the McCarty, Edgerton, and Taylor families from the lake side. . .
The following was found on pages 65-66 of Rev. T.H. Ball's 1904 Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography of Lake County, Indiana, with a Compendium of History, 1834-1904:
BENJAMIN McCARTY. The third competitor of the county seat in 1840, may well be named next. His individuality was as marked and distinct as was that of the other two. Like theirs his family influence in the county yet remains. The place of his birth, the time of his birth, his lineage, are alike unknown. He is first found, having come from an older county in Indiana, as the acting sheriff of La Porte county in 1832. As Probate Judge he solemnized marriages there in 1833 and 1834. In 1836, having chosen in Porter county a central position, he secured there, on his land, the location of the Porter county seat. Not satisfied to remain there he came with his large family into Lake county, obtained what was known as the Lilley place, where had been a hotel and a store, laid out a town, named it West Point, and in 1840, made effort to secure the Lake county seat. In this he failed. He was not in the geographical center, as, very nearly, Solon Robinson was. His oldest son, E.S. McCarty, reopened the store and also, in 1840, made brick, putting up the first brick kiln burned in the county. Changes in population took place and Judge McCarty removed to the prairie a few miles south, bought what is now the Hill place, and became a farmer. He had six sons, E. Smiley, William Pleasant, Franklin, Fayette Asbury, Morgan, Jonathan, and two daughters, Hannah and Candace. He had for his older sons some of the finest saddle horses then in the county, His home at West Point was a center in 1840 for religious meetings, and, for a short time, for a literary society. Some of his sons were teachers in the public schools. Until his death the family influence was large, but after that the family scattered, one son only remaining in the county. Some of his descendants are living in Creston,
Judge McCarty was friendly, intelligent, a man who knew something of frontier life before he reached Lake county, and was a man of good position in social life. Of those who knew him intimately none are living now.
More information on how the county seat was chosen was found on page 13 of this volume:
Another prominent event took place this year, in May, the location of the county seat. The Indiana Legislature appointed the commissioners. They, it is to be supposed, looked over the county. Three places sought the location. These were, the town of Liverpool where so many town lots were sold in 1836, the village of Lake Court House, where already a log court house was built and where Commissioners' Court and Circuit Court had been held, and where the county officers were residing, and Dr. Calvin Lilley's place at the now well known lake.
By some means or by some influence the Commissioners selected Liverpool. Great dissatisfaction resulted from their decision, and the citizens determined to ask for a re-location. Their request was granted. The Legislature again appointed commissioners. These were, "Jesse Tomlinson and Edward Moor of Marion county, Henry Barclay of Pulaski, Joshua Lindsey of White, and Daniel Doale of Carroll county." The same localities were in competition as before, George Earle for one, Solon Robinson for one, and, instead of Dr. Lilley, Judge Benjamin McCarty for the third, having bought the Lilley place, laid out town lots and named it West Point. The Commissioners came in June, 1840. Donations, large for those days, were offered by the friends of each locality. Finally, Lake Court House was selected as the proper place for the county seat of Lake county. . .
Another slant on the county seat selection was found on pages 52-53 of The History of Lake Couinty, Volume 10, a publication of the Lake County Historical Association, 1929:
. . .Mr. McCarty, having become a proprietor in place of Dr. Lilly, had laid out a town on the East shore of the Lake, which he called West Point, made desperate efforts to obtain the location there. It is a happy thing that he did not succeed, for as I before stated, the water of the lake could not be depended upon for use, and several wells that have since been dug, have proved to be so impregnated with some mineral that the water is an active cathartic.
So the town would have been without a supply of that very first necessity and indispensable article -- good water, which would have been a sure plea for using a little of the "critter" to modify the water, and a restoration of the county seat would have to be made, probably at a great loss to the county, or else the inhabitants might have drunk more whiskey than is ever drunk in Crown Point.
The following was found on page 85 of Rev. T.H. Ball's Lake County, Indiana, from 1834 to 1872:
Benjamin McCarty, who, with his brother-in-law, had laid out the town of Valparaiso, which became the county seat of Porter county, was desirous of also giving a county seat to Lake. He had purchased the Lilley place, on the northeast side of Cedar Lake, had laid out a town called West Point, and was now a competitor with Solon Robinson for the honor and privilege of the location.
Information on Lewis Warriner on page 287 states, "In 1839 he was elected a member of the Indiana Legislature to represent Lake and Porter Counties, his competitors being, it is believed, L. Bradley, of City West, and B. McCarty, of Valparaiso."
On pages 319-320 there is more about Benjamin McCarty:
Succeeding Dr. Lilly on the east side of Cedar Lake, having given a county seat to Porter County, he was an active competitor for the location of the county seat in Lake County with Solon Robinson and George Earle. A village had been commenced by Dr. Lilly on the northeast declivity of the lake bank by a hotel and a store. This, for a few years, was a central point where neighbors gathered, where religious meetings were held, and out from which influences of some kind reached the surrounding settlers.
B. McCarty had a large family, consisting of his wife, two daughters, and six sons. These sons were Enoch Smiley, Wm. Pleasant, Franklin, F. Asbury, Morgan and Jonathan. E.S. McCarty, probably in 1840, erected a brick kiln, and thus supplied the settlers with material for chimneys. The family kept some of the best horses then in the county, and the sons, two of whom were young men, gave more attention to dress and looks than most of the settlers' sons. They had enjoyed more advantages than some others, and were naturally aspiring. In a few years the family moved to the prairie and opened a farm in what is now called Tinkerville, where the Hill family have resided for many past years. The two older sons commenced teaching and married. The oldest one, E.S. McCarty, married a daughter of Rev. G. Taylor, in Pleasant Grove. The older daughter married Israel Taylor, son of Adonijah Taylor, who lived at the Outlet; the younger daughter married George Belshaw. For several years the family remained on the farm; the father, B. McCarty, had the title of Judge, but I am unable to learn its origin.
He was not on the strong side politically, in this county, and so was not elected to the highest offices of honor or trust. He had, however, represented the two counties of Porter and Lake before becoming a citizen of Lake.
Selling his prairie farm, at length, he removed to Iowa with some of his sons. The others and one daughter, Mrs. George Belshaw, went to the Pacific coast.